Job Analysis and KSAOs for Virtual Team Selection
Before any selection system can be developed, a thorough job analysis is needed to ensure that relevant KSAOs are identified and weighted appropriately in selection. Job analyses can also highlight which outcomes and processes are most relevant when evaluating team performance, which is important to the validation of a selection system. Given the variety of previously discussed contextual variables that can affect virtual teamwork, we strongly recommend a local job analysis to guide the development and/or choice of KSAO assessments. Local job analyses should account for the multiple levels of performance in virtual teams, including the individual-within-the-team (Ostroff, 2002), the team itself and the broader organizational context. Though selection typically occurs at the individual level, a selection system for virtual teams is unlikely to be successful if team-level phenomena are not considered in the job analysis (Ployhart & Schneider, 2002). A team-level job analysis, such as Brannick, Levine and Morgeson’s (2007) Multiphase Analysis of Performance (MAP) method, allows for a detailed assessment of team tasks and the subsequent inference of team-level KSAOs. At the individual level, an analysis of team member roles and tasks provides information for planning the distribution of KSAOs among team members (Morgeson, Humphrey & Reeder, 2012). In addition to the functional task roles, it is important to analyse team roles, defined as behavioural sets performed by team members that promote effective teamwork (for a complete review, see Mumford, Campion & Morgeson, 2006). For example, the specific leadership functions or roles for a project leader should be noted in order to guide the generation of KSAOs for this position. To summarize, a job analysis of virtual teams will consist of four steps: 1) an analysis of team tasks and functions in the broader organizational context, 2) the generation of team- level KSAOs, 3) an analysis of functional and team member roles, including the relative importance and the desired distribution of these roles, and 4) the generation of KSAOs for specific team members based on desired team KSAOs and member roles.
The tasks and KSAOs for virtual teamwork will differ between members and organizations. However, several taxonomies of traditional and virtual teamwork can provide guidelines regarding the typical KSAOs for virtual teams. We next review past research in these domains to provide some insight into the KSAOs for effective virtual team performance.